Letter: The federalization of education by Karen Schroeder
“Common Core Standards” is a program in which the federal government will define the curricula and the academic standards for each subject taught in every school setting. These Federal Standards will basically eliminate local control of schools and provide unfettered access to curricula by the Federal Government and by the United Nations eventually. The cost for implementing these standards may require a new method of taxation that is more accommodating for federal control of the educational system.
Mandating these standards bypasses any congressional scrutiny. It violates public trust by preventing any school board, parent, or teacher from approving these programs. Educational policy experts have encouraged the federal government to implement these standards because, as the Aspen Institute explains in A New Civic Literacy, “…decentralization of education (local control) makes educational change difficult to introduce.”
Therefore, Common Core Standards have been written for math and English and are currently being written for social studies curricula. These standards are intended to advance the social and political policy of global interdependence. According to A New Civic Literacy,”students in our public schools constitute the nation’s greatest and most attractive sucker list. Everybody with anything to sell-a global perspective-would naturally like to get at this market of future American adults, and get them as early in life as possible.” The document identifies teachers and publishers of text books as key leverage. Policy experts define the access to the American public through education as “the most important subject we as a people are engaged in.”
Teachers, parents, and some legislators have been discouraging the implementation of Common Core Standards because the standards are weak and eliminate oversight by school boards, teachers, and parents. The Wall Street Journal reported on May 8, 2012, that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is concerned that these standards will “relinquish control of education to the federal government” and that Emmett McGroarty, executive director of American Principles in Action, called the standards “mediocre and costly to implement.”
Many are concerned that Common Core Standards, once successfully implemented, will provide unfettered access to our educational system by the United Nations. Some textbooks and curricula have already been written by UNESCO. Once they write the curricula, they must have authority to develop all testing tools, to decide who becomes a teacher, and to choose the preparation for teachers. Experts representing the National Center for Education and the Economy (NCEE) seem to believe that the public will accept a new method of funding education once schools are burdened under these unfunded mandates. The NCEE suggests that regional development authorities be given power to tax removing all remaining local control of schools.
For effective educational reform, citizens must unite: eliminate federal mandates and federal funding of education and reallocate those funds to the states.
Karen Schroeder, Rice Lake
President, Advocates for Academic Freedom